The bare naked truth

shower out

shower out (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The chances are that unless you are in a certain industry, the list of people you would be happy to be naked with has shrunk over time. I can think of precisely one – my partner. Under certain circumstances, I might allow others to see me naked, such as my physician. If you have been a naughty boy (or girl) you might be required to strip by law enforcement officers. But by and large, the situation is under your control.

If my personal situation were different, I might add people to the list. Kylie maybe, or the girl from Sky News perhaps but the point is it is entirely up to me.

If the recent furore about Princess Kate’s topless photos appearing in the press and the outrage over Prince Harry‘s drunken naked romp in Las Vegas is anything to go by, it is a big deal to the Royal Family too. Although somehow I suspect that William and Kate were more angry than Harry. Privacy is important to people and breeches of privacy can be very upsetting.

Some cultures are much more private than others. Muslim women who choose to wear hijabs and burkas do so for a reason, they wish to conceal their bodies from those that they do not wish to see it. Quite what they make of Western TV with flesh just about everywhere is beyond me. In other cultures, women quite happily walk round topless. If the rumours are true about the Swedes – they spend their lives getting naked together in saunas and hot tubs. But in this country, we don’t.

So why when you go to the swimming pool or the gym are there usually communal changing rooms and communal showers? Assuming I wish to avail myself of the facilities – I have to get naked with complete strangers, something I just wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. I know that the people in the shower are probably not remotely interested in my fine specimen of a body, but that’s not the point.

If I designed the facilities, I would have private cubicles, with underfloor heating. You would hand your clothes through a hatch to a waiting valet who would take them away and warm them ready for your return. The showers would be hot and would have nice adjustable shower heads.

And best of all – your privacy would be maintained at all times (unless of course you drag Kylie into your cubicle).

Pack up your troubles

English: Royal standard of members of the Brit...

English: Royal standard of members of the British Royal Family without their own standards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In one of the few remaining countries with a reigning monarch, any royal event is bound to be significant. People sometimes question the wisdom of paying large quantities of money from the civil list to various brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins third removed that make up the Royal Family. Advocates always point to the tourist revenue generated because of the Royal family and the hard diplomatic and charitable work that the main Royals undertake. Detractors make the point that many of those tourists would have come anyway and that the work could be done much cheaper. For me, there are bigger things to be concerned about.

In the world today, there is a lot of worry. In the UK, we worry about recession and lack of growth. The Americans are worrying about their level of debt and losing their grip on superpower status as younger countries catch up. The Europeans are worried about the Euro and the nations that are both figuratively and geographically clinging onto Europe. In Germany, they are worried about the final bill for a working Euro whereas in Greece they cling on to Europe with the finger of one hand whilst waving goodbye with the other.

Everyone worries about the atrocities in Syria and the simmering conflict between Israel and Palestine. Are we leaving Afghanistan too soon or too late? Despite the supposed destruction of Al Qaeda, terrorism remains at the back of our minds. The Chinese worry about losing control of their people. In Japan they are rebuilding their country following the dreadful Tsunami that we all watched in high definition. In Africa, people are either starving or fighting (or sometimes both).

This Summer in the United Kingdom, all of the worries in the world will be forgotten temporarily. With the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the London Olympics taking place this year, the British people will do as only we know how. Today, a pageant containing 1,000 vessels headed by the Queen will make its way down the Thames. Despite all the misery in the world, we are going to have one hell of a party…. in the rain.